Former Rainier High School student, standout athlete and professional boxer Eloy Perez has died in Mexico at the age of 31, The Olympian reported exclusively on Monday.
(Read The Olympian's full story here:https://bit.ly/2MhnjEL)
Perez, who spent time in Rainier and Rochester schools, was killed, though details remain unclear, his sister Emma told the newspaper.
She said he died Oct. 5, disputing claims on social media that he had taken his own life and saying he was murdered.
“He had the most beautiful smile ever,” she told The Olympian. “He would walk into a room and you would feel instantly connected to him. He just grabbed you.”
The newspaper further reported that Perez was deported from the U.S. in 2016 after spending a year at an immigration detention facility in Tacoma.
Perez came to the United States from Mexico with his family when he was only a toddler, according to Nisqually Valley News archives. He was a standout athlete for both Rochester and Rainier, where he graduated in 2006.
As a professional boxer, Perez had a record of 23-1-2 and was a former WBC United States and WBO-NABO Junior Lightweight titleholder.
He landed in legal trouble after a pair of DUI convictions, The Olympian reported. That’s what led to his detention in Tacoma where he was eventually given the choice to remain at the center or be released in Mexico, where he had few connections or friends, according to The Olympian.
Emma told the newspaper her brother was a great and awesome person.
“He loved life,” she said. “He loved doing anything for anybody and he never wanted to disappoint anybody.”
A public memorial is being planned but details have yet to be announced.